Archived News From May 2002

Due to the old age of most of these news items, all hyperlinks have been disabled. It is also not possible to comment on any of news. They are presented in their current form purely for your reading pleasure - it's the closest thing to a time machine we can offer you!

Scenario Sounds...
Posted by Thunder on May 31st, 2002 @ 8:06 p.m.
One of the things that can really bring a scenario to life, set the mood or wake up a player, are sounds. The SCNPunk site has the wonderful Sound Database, which is loaded with all sorts of music, effects, and voices that are available to use. Recently though, forumer crasher posted his finding of a search engine that seeks out sounds. Just some of your many options when looking to add a new audio element to your creations. ...Blacksmith Feature to return next Thursday... ; )
How Do You IM?
Posted by Thunder on May 31st, 2002 @ 7:20 p.m.
The writers of ZDNet have come up with an interesting article entitled Do you have IM etiquette? The author discusses some of his instant messaging experiences and some of the finer points of this great form of communication. As one of many frequent users of ICQ, I rather enjoyed the article.

Although IMing can be frustrating at times, many people, myself included, have made a lot of good friends thanks to programs such as ICQ and I really can't imagine living out it. ...I'm hooked! ; )
HG's E3 Wrap-up...
Posted by Thunder on May 29th, 2002 @ 9:18 p.m.
At last, Angel Spineman has finished sorting through all of HG's E3 pictures! You will now find all 200+ of them arranged into galleries on HG main, including Spiney's thoughts on various games such as World of Warcraft and the many Lord of the Rings inspired titles that were at the show. Great job Spiney!

My thanks to Angel Draco and Angel Spineman for taking all sorts of pictures and hanging out with me at E3. I had a blast! ...despite Draco's really odd choices in games... ; )
Action Tonight...
Posted by Thunder on May 29th, 2002 @ 10:20 a.m.
If you're looking for a wee bit of rough and tumble tournament action this evening, make sure you stop in and sign-up for MFO's SMACKDOWN. Things will get underway at 7:30pm EST, but sign-ups will begin an hour in advance. Be there! ...lack of sleep put the smackdown on me...night all! ; )
HG's E3 Images!
Posted by Thunder on May 27th, 2002 @ 10:49 p.m.
The intrepid Angel Spineman has been sifting through his 200+ images from this year's E3 event. He snapped images of just about anything that moved, or made noises and blinked. Two galleries of pics have just been posted, first and foremost the Age of Mythology Gallery! It contains many images of the Ensemble Studios team giving demos and some shots of the game. (a few more to come as I finish scanning my images)

The second gallery? Well, Angel Spineman and Angel Draco are poor married guys. They took just a few images of the many booth babes that graced the show, which you can view in the Women of E3 Gallery. ...there actually seemed to be more women gamers at E3 this year...wearing clothes and all... ; )
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on May 27th, 2002 @ 10:30 p.m.
At the start of the week we usually launch into a top ten count of who's climbing our Ladder, but things are a little different this week. We still don't have a ladder champion, since Gary__Payton retired with the crown, and the championship tournament is still in full swing. Many of the top players are currently battling for the champion title, so the standings are in a turbulent time! Souyrar_ has been keeping on top of the tourney events with his Tourney Magazine, a great stop to see how everyone is doing. The tourney will be winding down in the days ahead, we'll let you know who survives to fight for top spot on the ladder! ...stay tuned for some E3 pics! ; )
E3 Didn't Quite Kill Us...
Posted by Thunder on May 26th, 2002 @ 0:57 a.m.
All three HG Angels— Draco, Spineman, and me —have safely returned from Los Angeles and E3! We were armed with cameras and sharp elbows to make it through the crowds, and got to see and try many of the great games which will be heading for store shelves in the coming months. I spent quite a great deal of time picking the brains of the Ensemble Studios crew about Age of Mythology, and will have a write-up posted in the next few days or so. I'm scanning the pictures I took right now, and Angel Spineman is working on getting his 200+ pictures ready for viewing.

Some of the highlights of the show for me was getting to play an AOM scenario complete with in-game movies, winning a tournament and beating Brian Reynolds at his own game (more on that later), and finding two PCs loaded with games that you could play tucked away in a back corner of the show...AOM installed. More to come! ...exhausting...but lotsa fun... ; )

Number One...
Posted by Thunder on May 26th, 2002 @ 0:37 a.m.
The MFO crew has wrapped up their top ten list of the best recordings of all time. If you missed it, be sure to watch their number one game of all time which features Kevin "The_Sheriff" Holme pulling off his infamous SMUSH strategy. Mike "Captn" Kidd provides some very entertaining commentary on how the recording plays out, a must read before viewing. ...for such a nice guy, The_Sheriff sure is a loko S.O.B. to play against... ; )
Zen Steps In...
Posted by Thunder on May 22nd, 2002 @ 9:05 a.m.
My plane to Los Angeles takes off in about seven hours from now. While I'm out and about, Angel Zen will be doing the news duties here, until my return at the end of the week. Please be sure to send any fascinating news items you come across his way!

Expect a full report on everything I see at E3 when I return, including whatever I can get out of the ES crew on Age of Mythology! ...take it away Zen! ; )
Recording Deux...
Posted by Thunder on May 22nd, 2002 @ 1:34 a.m.
Continuing with their top ten best recordings of all time list, the MFO guys have posted number two this evening. This one is an oldie but a goodie from May 2000, featuring the infamous Arch_Koven versus Devilz_sk8er on a baltic map, making for a nice change. They battle over hill, over dale, over dusty trail, and yes, even on the water!

Recording number one can't be far off now... ...*holds breath*... ; )
Championship Tourney Deadline!
Posted by Thunder on May 21st, 2002 @ 10:56 p.m.
For all those participating in the Ladder Championship Tournament, to decide a new ladder champ, be warned that the deadline for round one is tonight at 11:59pm EST! That's a little over six hours away, so if you haven't played your round one opponent please do so quickly. Dark Side of Day has posted a reminder in the forum, along with some of the possible outcomes if you don't play your game. ...best not to leave it to chance and play that game... ; )
Numero Three...
Posted by Thunder on May 21st, 2002 @ 2:16 a.m.
Game number three in MFO's top ten recordings of all time is available now. It's another 3v3 rivers game, featuring members of the SHS clan against several top experts from Asia. The game is from April, 2000, so once again we'll be seeing more than a few Town Centers. ...don't know where LittleKnife went...he used to beat me up in Forum Parties all the time... ; )
Preping For E3!
Posted by Thunder on May 20th, 2002 @ 3:54 a.m.
If you aren't getting excited about E3 yet, you've got to check your pulse. It's a little over 48 hours away from starting, and the LA Convention Center is currently being transformed into a gamers wonderland. Jaguarundi made a HUGE find over at Planet GameCube, where they have posted a gallery of photos from in and around the convention center. They are already scoping out the scene and were on hand for the debut of the massive AOM banner that will greet everyone as they enter the show! ...the gods have arrived in LA! ...thanks Jag...you da man! ; )
Recordings 5 & 4...
Posted by Thunder on May 20th, 2002 @ 3:51 a.m.
The MFO crew is still counting down the top ten best recorded games of all time, and are now left with just the top three to reveal. Recordings number five, which shows why AOK was called Age of Buildings for quite some time, and four, a great 3v3 islands game for a change, are now available.

It only gets better from here! Keep your eyes peeled for the top three in the coming days. ...a damn shame #5 is only a partial game...and that matty is so old now he can barely remember it... ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on May 18th, 2002 @ 3:27 a.m.
We won't be doing the official announcements for our Forum Parties from here on out. A great many Agers always take extended breaks during the summer, so event attendance always takes a hit. Many of the regulars, and ladder players, will certainly continue to meet for games on Saturdays, so do drop in when you have the chance! All of the details can be found in the current Forum Party Post.

Bruce Shelley will be on the Zone tomorrow too, believe it or not. He'll be taking questions about Age of Mythology shortly after the Forum Party start time. Visit AOM Heaven for more information!
WCG: Conquerors Makes Cut...
Posted by Thunder on May 18th, 2002 @ 3:16 a.m.
Official game selection is underway for WCG 2002, and once again we will see the best Conquerors players heading to Korea for the finals! The organizers have begun gearing up for events already, as the finals will be earlier this time around, Oct 29 - Nov 3. Be sure to keep an eye on your Country's WCG site for information on qualifying events.
Blacksmith Feature: The Detective's Apprentice 2...
Posted by Thunder on May 17th, 2002 @ 1:27 a.m.
Our weekly tradition continues as we now turn things over to BrandNewCar for a look at one of the many top notch Ager created scenarios and campaigns. Take it away Car:
The Detective's Apprentice 2 is a sequel to The Detective's Apprentice, which was also rated highly in the Best of AOK section of the Blacksmith. You step into the shoes of James Herefield and his friend Hargreaves.

Let me fill you in on some of the information from the original Detective's Apprentice so you are up to date on the events of Harlow and surrounding area. The previous work had the two characters in search of El Cid, trying to capture him for all the problems he is causing. As you soon find, El Cid has escaped capture and you must go in search of him but not with the intention to capture him again, oh no... to stop him once and for all.

The author, The Pyromaniac has written an interesting description, with the full version being able to be found here.

"This is the sequel to the 4.6-reviewed Detective's Apprentice. It tells the story of a man, which has, went from a lowly apprentice to a master of his profession. He met the king, he solved a tough murder, he caught the most wanted criminal in the land. But unfortunately due to a human error he escaped.

James met the king again and again the king told him he needed a favour of him; he wanted him to recapture El Cid. As well as his sidekick Hargreaves he has someone else to help him on his quest, you."


In game, you take the role of the detectives and must go in search of clues and any other information that might help you to find the whereabouts of the evil El Cid. You soon find yourself travelling through marshes, open plains and other beautiful areas painstakingly made by the author. The excellent use of humour in places makes it that much more fun as well.

As you look for clues it becomes apparent that The Pyromaniac's work is very original, and this is great. With so many scenarios/campaigns in the Blacksmith you think there are more detective style scenarios, which unfortunately there aren't. This just helps make the experience even more memorable. At the end of the playable scenario you are given choices as to where you think El Cid is, and if you guess correctly you are treated with a victory screen and an excellent epilogue cut-scene.

A review of The Detective's Apprentice 2 can be found here by Andres Age. He gives it a 4.4 out of a possible 5.0. The review gives it perfect marks in both creativity and map design. Playing the detective has never been so much fun.. the police are involved too.. but there's no "'ello, 'ello 'ello, what have we got here then.." ; )
Ladder Championship Up For Grabs!
Posted by Thunder on May 16th, 2002 @ 7:17 a.m.
Our Ladder Champion, , has retired! Gary__Payton didn't have time to take on all of the challenges for top spot on our ladder, so he has stepped aside, leaving the spot vacant. To resolve the situation, Ladder Manager Dark Side of Day is arranging a Double Elmination Tournament to decide a new champ! In order to enter, you have to have played at least fifteen ladder games and be prepared to do battle with these settings:
"Game Type: Random Map
Map: Blind Random Map ( if your a true Champ...maps wont matter )
Map Size: Tiny
Reveal Map: Normal
Resources: Standard
Starting Age: Standard
Victory: Conquest
Record Game: Yes ( All Games must be Recorded )
Full Tech Tree: no
Cheats: No
Civs Allowed: All"


Source - AOKH Champion Double Elimination Tournament
Many of the best ladder players have already signed up for this clash, which is sure to produce a strong champion. The event runs from May 20th until June 1st, with the sign-up deadline of May 19th. If you qualify, make sure you get in on this action, and take your shot at the number one spot on the ladder. ...good of Gary to step aside instead of just disappearing...you were a great champ, here's hoping you come back for your crown one day! ; )
This Day In Age...
Posted by Thunder on May 16th, 2002 @ 3:12 a.m.
We have to go back a long way to reach this milestone. It occurred way back on this day in 1997. Sure, Age of Empires wasn't even in stores yet, but there was Age of Empires Heaven, which appeared online this very day five years ago! Mike "Archangel" McCart founded the site, which grew and spawned several other successful sites dealing with various strategy games. Archangel moved on to work at Ensemble Studios, but thanks to the dedicated volunteers he enlisted and the many enthusiastic visitors who contributed, the site is still around.

Many thanks to all of the visitors who are still with us, and continue to follow the Age series! ...May 15, 1997...gah, I'm a n00b...I didn't even own a PC at the time... ; )
Recordings 6 and 7...
Posted by Thunder on May 14th, 2002 @ 10:49 p.m.
Continuing their series of the Top Ten recorded games of all time, the MFO crew has now posted game six and seven for download. Seven is a showdown between Arch_Koven_ and _paranoia_ on a rivers map, with some nice commentary by _paranoia_ himself. Game six is a 1v1 arabia match between Sk8er and UltimaKaos, with some interesting infantry work. ...wonder how many of these games are going to feature Koven... ; )
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on May 14th, 2002 @ 9:45 a.m.
In an interesting twist, our current ladder champion, Gary__Payton, has actually lost a game. The customary rematch to dethrone the champion hasn't taken place, as far as I know, so for now he's still on top. DjiNN_Inc who defeated the champ is no doubt rubbing his hands together and awaiting their impending meeting.

So as we look at our top ten on the Ladder, keep in mind that things at the top may well be shaken up in the near future:
  1. 204: Gary__Payton
  2. 233: petard_rusher
  3. 225: Souyrar_
  4. 210: Myll_Slaghter
  5. 198: Chichiri
  6. 197: _Final_Boss
  7. 189: Flank
  8. 186: Pezeteros_ [aka redhair_LOLITA]
  9. 179: Myll_Barka
  10. 177: DaRq_LadyWoogy

Source - AOKH Ladder

The mighty petard_rusher is currently on a 32 game winning streak, if you can believe that, and is quite busy massing points. He's going to have to take a run at top spot soon, that pretender to the throne.

Our hard working ladder manager, Dark Side of Day, has chosen some worthy Ladder Warriors of the Week once again. Topping the list is none other than Taiga_Dolphin, the winner of our recent ladder points race. He fought a great many tough games to claim his prize, so this honour was well earned. Joining him on the list is S_A_S and Flank, who are always ready for a fight. Good show fellers! ...ME_Count_Rahl signed up for the ladder, and quietly advanced his record to 1-0...look out for that guy! ; )
P4 Zone Tourney...
Posted by Thunder on May 14th, 2002 @ 0:19 a.m.
If you've been on the Zone lately, you'll no doubt have noticed their pop-up announcement on their new tournament which features a P4 based PC as the grand prize. Today is the day when the preliminary rounds start, so if you've signed up for the first round make sure you're online and ready to play. If you haven't signed up, there are still several prelim rounds for both the RM and DM events to come. Stop by their tournament page for complete details. ...event open to only US and Canada...be sure to read the fine print... ; \
MFO Update!
Posted by Thunder on May 11th, 2002 @ 10:55 p.m.
Game number nine in MFO's top ten series has been posted today, featuring Iamkmkm versus Mimmox in a 1v1 rated game from early 2001. Mimmox provides the commentary on this hard fought battle that stretched into Imperial.

Mr.Fixit has also sent us word on some new projects and features to be found over MFO way, including some great bracket software for their gold members:
"MFO WAR
Have you ever wanted to build your own game? I know I have. Now is the time we can! MFO has set out on a journey to create an online game with diplomacy, empire building, and combat. Join the project and help us make this game from the ground up. Besides making a great game, I think the process will be both educational and rewarding! Details http://www.mrfixitonline.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=831994

MFO EVENTS SOFTWARE
Create your own event, manage brackets up to 256 players each, enjoy automated signups, and more using the MFO Event Software. (For MFO Gold members only). You can also customize your look using powerful HTML templates.

TOP 10 AOK GAMES OF ALL TIME
Many months ago, ES_Swinger was talking with several people about some of the old recorded games we remembered of the past, which ones were better than others and why, and he got to thinking...what WERE the best games? Was there any real way to tell? Well, after months of hard work and countless hours, yes, there is. Come see what he has in store for you here: http://www.rtscentral.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=831145

MFO SMACKDOWN
Congrats to He_Rook/He_flair for winning this week's smackdown which had a "no knight" rule.

DUNGEON SIEGE PARTY
MFO's first Dunegon Siege party was held lastnight. Apparently, the highlight of the night was blue_myriddn's reaking http://www.mrfixitonline.com/readPosting.asp?PostingId=832775"
- Mr.Fixit


UPDATE
Game number eight has now been posted. The game is from way back in 2000, featuring RD_ChampioN versus Iketh. It's an early game that shows an all out feudal attack defeating the common fast castle.
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on May 11th, 2002 @ 3:23 a.m.
Forumers will be gathering on the Zone tomorrow for plenty of games and the like. If you're looking for some Ladder games or to get in a few good team matches, be sure to stop by! You'll find the particulars, such as where and when, in the trendy Forum Party Post.

It will be a good time to get in some practice before the next round of Zone sponsored tourneys, be there! ...and challenge players better than yourself...a good way to learn... ; )
Best Records Of All Time?
Posted by Thunder on May 10th, 2002 @ 3:34 a.m.
Take all of the recorded games you've ever watched, yours, your pal's games, those expert games, all of 'em. For some, the list would be hundreds of games long! Now, pick ten...only the best. No easy task there, especially when you're digging through all of the expert games available at MFO! That's the task that Chris "Swinger" Rupp has undertaken, along with the help of some friends, and their list of the top ten best games of all time is now being unveiled:
"These are the games that have helped to define AoK and AoC from the very beginning - if you want to know the history of AoK, here it is. And not only do we have the top 10, we also have commentary from the players who were in the games themselves!"

Source - MFO: Best recorded games of all time...
They have started with #10, and will be revealing the rest over the next nine days. Ten is an old AOK game — yes, that's a non-xpack game — featuring _paranoia_ vs ME_Count_Rahl, a tooth and nail all Celt battle. ...woooooow...seems like good brawls as well as innovative games are in...this is gonna be great! ; )
Blacksmith Feature: Dracula...
Posted by Thunder on May 10th, 2002 @ 3:03 a.m.
Making his debut in our weekly Blacksmith feature is BrandNewCar, who reviews a fair share of the scenarios and campaigns that we send to be posted. He's written the complete article, complete with witty comment. Take it away BNC: ...I've been fresh out of wit for some time now... ; )

Dracula: Son of the Dragon — Welcome to this week's blacksmith feature of the week. I thought for my first blacksmith feature I'd look for something original and unique. I think this is what I found here. Firstly, an important notice has to be displayed here. This scenario comes in a .scx file and needs to be converted in a .cpx file using the campaign editor for you to get the detailed and important introduction screen. Ok now the notice is over lets get to the actual work.

The author of this scenario is Jeff Laine and is his only release to the Age of Kings Blacksmith. Fear not however, as for a first scenario this is very good and awhile back I reviewed it whilst on the lookout for Best of Aok material and had came to the right place.

This is quoted from the description section and pretty much sums up the aims of this scenario:- "Step into history with the immortal Count Dracula, whose evil exploits chill readers even today. Tales of his cruelty are legendary, but what of the other aspects of his life? Some in Romania consider the man a patriot and hero for banishing the Turks from Wallachia in the 15th century.

This scenario will allow you to play the Dark Prince, in all his evil. Will you be a benevolent lord and lead your people to victory against the Turks, or will you use cruelty and inhuman sadism to bend others to your will?"


Upon loading the game for the first time you are greeted by an impressive AVI file, which is a great opening. (actual movie like footage for those new to way AVI files work) In game there are several well-crafted AVI mini-movies so to speak during play, this is particularly impressive as few if any releases to the Blacksmith have this.

This scenario really has a great feel for the Dracula theme even before you begin playing by giving us the violent history of the man. The violent tendancies of Vladimir Tepes the III became apparent through his rivalry with Vladislav the II, during years of struggle over the province of Wallachia.

In game, as you begin you set off from your castle stronghold and must firstly eradicate the Boyars, a different people from the nearby city of Tirgovisle, in order to gain dominance and gain control of the city, and also due to the fact they killed his mother and father. Bitter sweet revenge! Here is where the fun begins, with the chance to kill whoever you want by changing diplomacy, your objective being to kill 500 people. As you play through the Turks become you're main opposition in the region as you set out to become dominant and wipe out all forms of threat to your position.

An interesting idea, and one which works well with the AVI files, are scenario editor trigger made in game cut scenes with the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II.

My review of is Jeff Laine's work can be found here All that remains left for me to say is that of the Ragged man, whose unlucky wife is met by Vlad Tempes who kills her because she makes his wear such poorly made clothes.. the follow up-line was " If your new wife serves no better, she knows her fate" ; )
Mac Multiplayer?
Posted by Thunder on May 9th, 2002 @ 5:53 p.m.
If you have the Mac version of AOK, and have a hankering for some multiplayer action, please visit this post in the forum. There is a lonely Mac user there looking for someone to play against.

We've only seen a handful of this rare breed, so stay quiet, get out your binoculars, and let's see what happens. ...no no, we're not hunting wabits... ; )
MFO Events!
Posted by Thunder on May 8th, 2002 @ 10:02 p.m.
The foreman at MFO has sent word on some new projects and changes over that way. The news that may interest the most of you is the return of SMACKDOWN, tonight! Here's the whole shpeel:
"NEW SERVER
Booya - our timeout and sluggish performance has been squashed with some smoking new hardware. Stop on by to sprint through MFO like you found a "Super Fast" setting in Age of Kings.

MFO SMACKDOWN RETURNS
Are you ready for our third season of SMACKDOWN? We are running our 45th smackdown tournament TONIGHT!

D2 DUELING CONTEST
Congrats to Pegasus who won our first DiabloII Dueling contest - and got a free copy of Dungeon Siege.

NEW RECORDED GAMES DATABASES
If you haven't checked out our new recorded games database, you should stop by immediately! With user ratings and other major enhancements, we have given our system a major overhaul. We also added Star Wars and Kohan databases.

Quickly checking "most downloaded" I see The Sheriff's Goth slingshot at top dog with 1388 downloads already. Highest rated? Mozart/Blade vs _MAD_Churchill._MAD_SpArTaCuS.

DUNGEON SIEGE SITE
MFO launched a site for Dungeon Siege - http://ds.mrfixitonline.com

Check out the news for information on what we have done recently and join in on our active forum.

FINAL FANTASY XI SITE
Actually launched this a while ago, but I don't think I put it in a press release - http://ff.mrfixitonline.com is covering Final Fantasy XI.

WAR3 SITE
MFO is gearing up for a WarCraft III site. Be sure to lend a hand so we can make a war3 site to be proud of! "
- Mr.Fixit
AOKH Ladder Standings...
Posted by Thunder on May 7th, 2002 @ 10:43 a.m.
It has been a wild week on the Ladder folks! There has been some major movement all over the place, with players heading up and waaay down, like myself. Along with all of the ups and downs, we got a new ladder champion, Gary__Payton! He took on Souyrar_ for the crown and was victorious in their first game and the rematch. (you'll find the recorded games here)

In addition, our Snakes & Ladder Contest, which was held over the weekend saw an amazing finish as ladder players tried to gain the most points in a 48 hour period. SKD_Earthworm and Taiga_Dolphin both played a ton of games, far more than anyone else. The race came down to the wire as in the closing hours these two actually met in a game and Taiga_Dolphin came out on top. The win allowed him to catch up and ensure a ONE POINT victory! Well played guys!

Right now though, let's turn our eyes to the Ladder for the weekly top ten:
  1. 213: Gary__Payton (remains #1 until defeated)
  2. 225: Souyrar_/225: petard_rusher
  3. 206: Myll_Slaghter
  4. 197: _Final_Boss_
  5. 193: Flank
  6. 186: Pezeteros_ [aka redhair_LOLITA]
  7. 178: Myll_Barka
  8. 174: DaRq_LadyWoogy
  9. 173: Annoyomous [aka Qwerty_Donkey]
  10. 170: MoFo_Revolution

Source - AOKH Ladder

Getting a little bit crowded at the top there isn't it? Gary was a long time ladder champion previously, holding the title for several months against many challenges, so we'll see how long he can hang on to the crown this time.

Congratulations to those ladder players who have been selected by our dedicated ladder manager Dark Side of Day as the Ladder Warriors of the Week! Flank tops the list, and is joined by a hard working Ager, S_A_S, and newcomer to the list SLAYER_Hussar. ..."Keep reaching for the stars..." ...don't know who said it, but it seemed fitting and cheesy... ; )
MillionManLAN...
Posted by Thunder on May 7th, 2002 @ 3:33 a.m.
At last we have a date for CompUSA's Gamefixx AOK tournament, which sports $5000 in prize money! (thanks MFO) There is limited seating — odd for a million man LAN — and an entry fee. You may also have quite a trip on your hands to get to Louisville for the event start on May 24th, but if you're up for it head straight to the tourney info page to get squared away! Good luck folks!
Games Industry Booms...
Posted by Thunder on May 7th, 2002 @ 1:18 a.m.
I remember some smart guy saying at E3 a couple years back that the games industry would take in more money than the film industry in the not too distant future. While reading an article on Activision's very profitable year, these amazing figures were produced:
"Despite the recession, the protracted tech slump, and Sept. 11, sales of videogame hardware, software, and accessories increased 43% last year, to a record $9.4 billion, according to research company NPD Group. To put that in perspective, the movie industry, which also had a record year, generated box-office receipts of $8.35 billion in 2001."

Source - Business 2.0: X-Treme Profits
Hopefully you were sitting down for that one. The Xbox versus GameCube war certainly helped boost those figures last year, but with the likes of Spiderman breaking box office records right now, it will be interesting to see if the games industry out performs Hollywood once again this year. ...never touched a Tony Hawk title...but it appears I'm alone in that regard... ; )
@home.com E-mail Update...
Posted by Thunder on May 6th, 2002 @ 10:57 a.m.
Here is just a really quick reminder that we need those of you who have accounts in our forums to have a valid e-mail address so that we can contact you. Users with invalid addresses have their accounts banned, so please make sure that yours is correct and working. This is especially important right now because all @home.com e-mail addresses, which were once common place, are now gone the way of the Dodo. Please read this post in the forum regarding this topic. Thanks! ...browser lesson for the day...ctrl + moving your mouse wheel adjusts the size of text displayed...goto View -> Text Size to adjust it manually... ; )
Forum Party Tomorrow...
Posted by Thunder on May 4th, 2002 @ 5:01 a.m.
It was civilization showcase day over at AOM Heaven, so I'm a little late with the Forum Party reminder. All of the details on our Snakes & Ladder contest, which runs this weekend, and the regular forum party games can be had in the trendy Forum Party Post. It should be a really good day for games.

Best of luck to everybody in their games this weekend! ...going to try and play twenty+ games this weekend... ; )
Zone Cleans Up...
Posted by Thunder on May 3rd, 2002 @ 10:58 a.m.
If you have a collection of smurfing names for your Zone fun, be careful that you don't loose them while they are doing their spring cleaning! Here is the note that is on it's way out to all of us users of the MSN Gaming Zone:
"Zone.com is spring cleaning!

To speed up our site and provide a better service for everyone, we will be recycling inactive Zone names. Only those Zone names (not .NET Passport nicknames) that have been inactive for six months or more will be affected.

Recycling inactive Zone names will free up thousands of names that would otherwise remain unused. This cleanup may give you a chance to nab that special Zone name you always wanted.

We are sending out this message to all Zoners, past and present. If you are currently playing on the Zone, don’t worry -- you won't notice any changes. If you still have an old Zone name you would like to keep, and have not used this name within the last six months, we encourage you to visit our member support section http://www.zone.msn.com/services/support.asp as soon as possible and follow the instructions to either sign-up or change your Zone name. If you haven't played on the Zone for a while, whether or not you want to make nickname changes, we invite you to check it out. We've got a lot of great new games!"
- Zone Newsletter
Snakes & Ladder Contest!
Posted by Thunder on May 3rd, 2002 @ 4:05 a.m.
Those of you who are already taking part in the AOKH Ladder may want to take note of a weekend long event that will start as soon as May 4th rolls around. The Snakes & Ladder Contest will reward the player who gains the most points over the weekend with some Age gear. Play well, and play often! Check out the contest information page for the details and prize list. ...I'll be around to donate some points, good luck to all... ; )
Blacksmith Feature: BrandNewCar...
Posted by Thunder on May 3rd, 2002 @ 1:40 a.m.
My thanks to BrandNewCar, who will be taking over the research and writing duties on our weekly featured scenario, campaign, map, or other findings from the Blacksmith. We are giving him a little time to settle in, so there won't be a feature this week. Join us next Thursday for BrandNewCar's first article, and first pick for a feature! ...hopefully we won't be missing many more weekly features, as I can cover for Car when he's too busy... ; )
Hold The Twist...
Posted by Thunder on May 2nd, 2002 @ 9:41 a.m.
The tournament with a twist has been canceled, according to organizer LittleDagger. The 2v2, medium resources, Fortress map event was meant to shake things up a little, but a snafu has forced him to abandon the idea for the time being. Here's hoping that things will get back on track at a later date! ...thanks for the update Dagger... ; )
FOPT Interviews Koven!
Posted by Thunder on May 2nd, 2002 @ 1:56 a.m.
The recent winner of FOPT Clan's Arbalet Cup tournament, Arch_Koven_ sat down for quite a chat with the FOPT folks. They discuss quite a range of topics, from Koven's job to his games:
"FOPT: Out of the many great games I would like to point out two: The 1st game vs. Grunt in the Semifinals and the 2nd game vs. Chris in the Finals. You looked pretty much dead but made an unbelievable comeback twice!

Arch_Koven_: Haha, yes. In both games I really wanted to resign. ^^

FOPT: So what made you stay in the games then?

Arch_Koven_: Hm. I don't know. Maybe the experience that in a game the craziest things can happen. Against Grunt I got a chance to kill his army because I used hill bonus. He played great in the beginning but he missed to kill me. In the game against Chris I forgot the wood upgrade. I think without this mistake the game would have been easier for me.

FOPT: How can the best player in the world forget wood upgrade?

Arch_Koven_: Haha, I read in the tournament forum "Koven is god, Koven is a machine". But I am only human and I make mistakes too. Haha."


Source - FOPT Inteviews Koven
It is a pretty good interivew to say the least! Here's hoping that Koven is able to compete in the World Cyber Games once again this year. ...if the only thing we forget in games in the wood upgrade, most of us are happy... ; )
Master Of Boom!
Posted by Thunder on May 1st, 2002 @ 8:23 p.m.
The booming tournament that was hosted by the old timers of the GeeZer Clan has wrapped up, and one of their own has been declared the Master of Boom! The goal was to get to the Imperial Age and make 200 villagers as fast as possible. Only one of the players who entered managed to break the 30 minute barrier, and that was GeeZer_Tyrant who boomed in 29:11. Coming in second was The_Steam_, who had a time of 30:04.

You can view the blazing recorded game of the winner, and check out fast times from some of the other players who took part, on the GeeZer's tournament page. ...those GeeZers are pretty fast for old guys... ; )